What’s audio description I hear you ask? It’s the non verbal action that is described for the vision impaired community either on TV or at the theatre! I could have said radio too but as you know, radio is already accessible to the blind! Ha ha!

The idea is to give the blind viewer more information so the programme or play they are watching, makes more sense. I get to enjoy audio description every time I watch Coronation Street. The audio describer tells me there are smoking chimneys and a cobbled street or that a tall attractive blond woman has just come into the bar.

As for live theatre, when we go to the Fortune here in Dunedin, the wonderful Anna Henare does the audio description for one performance of each play!

We start the performance by meeting the actors and their characters, and then having a touch tour of the set and stage. Our programmes are in braille and throughout the play, we have Anna’s voice in a headset. As she describes the non verbal scenes on the stage, we listen in and make up a picture in our minds with all the information we receive. It’s an enhanced theatre experience for sure and all blind patrons who attend love it!

Thanks to the Fortune Theatre and the Experience Access Trust, who keep doing it!

You guys rock!

Here’s my list of 10 things I’ve smelt, heard, tasted and touched in the last week:

1 the smell of apricot, beetroot and flowers on our morning walk! I don’t know if they were real or not but does that matter?

2 the taste of the Mexican tomato and bacon soup I made for lunch the other day! It was very nice if I do say so myself!

3 the feel of the Lucky Break magazine I bought this week because I was told I was in it! Ha! Now I know it’s the 26 March issue! Thanks Lucky Break!

4 the sound of Chris Gayle from the West Indies hitting the first double century in World Cup cricket history! Wow!

5 the feel of the seats at the Fortune Theatre last night as we sat and listened to the actors as they told us about their characters as part of the touch tour of the play Outside Mullingar! beforehand.

6 the feel of all the props on stage as we explored the set. The trough, the bucket, the spade and shovel, the formica table and chairs. Can you tell it was set on a farm?

7 the sound of the Irish accents in the play!

8 the sound of Ron telling me “everyone’s standing” at the end so I lept to my feet too to add to the standing ovation! Go the Fortune!

9 the taste of the Chicken Satay Margaret, Ron and I had for tea afterwards! Yummo! IT’s the best part of going to the theatre! Ha hah ha!

10 the sound of Robyn and I chit chatting our way through food and coffee in the sunshine at Rhubarb yesterday! Heaven!

I may not see

But I can smell

And taste and touch and listen

And when I do this every day

I find my optimism!

Have a sensory filled week everyone!